Skip to main content

Reply to this post | See parent post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 6, 2009 6:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Aoxomoxoa vs. Live/Dead

"If the band had known what it would become live...."
But how could they know? Live/Dead was probably seen as being an extravagant step at the time....I don't think by '69 there were a whole lot of live rock albums (let alone double-albums) that showed a whole different band than the studio records. Cream's Wheels of Fire comes to mind, there are probably others, but it was a new field - and the idea of releasing songs only on live albums would be quite novel!
And actually, through the Dead's career, although they were rarely too happy in the studio, they were rarely generous in releasing live albums either. In fact, some of their live releases were thoughtless travesties....more on that later.

As for their rehearsals - yes, they rehearsed intensely, hours a day, in '66-68 - the kind of jam-songs they wanted to do demanded it. The Dec '68 studio session shows in part how much work they put into the Eleven.... (Which is strange if the date is right, since they'd been playing that live for almost a year!) I don't think their shows were ever really 'free-form' in the jazz sense, but they did practice enough to be able to jam freely.
As Jerry said, "You can't play the way the Grateful Dead plays without working at it. It's not something that just happened to us. It didn't happen overnight, either. There was a long, slow process that brought that into being."

As for '69 and later, it's harder to say how much they rehearsed. There is that one great home tape (labeled 12-31-69 in the Archive) with the instrumental Feelin' Groovy & Uncle John, but we don't have many more practice-tapes from the early '70s....there are the early rehearsal tapes with Keith in 1971, which aren't very revealing though, since Keith didn't need much practice!
As for the later '70s - I'll recycle a statement I made in an old thread, responding to someone who thought the Dead didn't rehearse:
"What's with the comment about the Dead's 'well-known aversion to rehearsals'? Maybe that was the case in their burnt-out later days when they were writing hardly any new songs and avoiding the studio, but it's not true of their first decade. Even leaving aside the constant rehearsals of the '60s, this band had spent the whole first half of '75 rehearsing Blues for Allah, another big chunk of time in '77 for Terrapin, plus countless hours practicing for the '76 shows. The Dead could not have sounded like they did without being rehearsal-crazy. But again, those habits probably changed after '77."

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: dilcurrie Date: Mar 7, 2009 2:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Aoxomoxoa vs. Live/Dead

Hope this helps, not you personally, but anyone following the thread who's interested:

some good stuff here